Missouri hospitals not in full compliance with pricing transparency laws

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 3:31 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A federal law requires hospitals to let you know what a service will cost before you get care.

The hospital price transparency law went into effect in January 2021. But more than a year later some facilities haven’t fully complied, including some in Missouri.

“Patients have been required to pay with a blank check while being blindsided by sometimes way outrageous bills beyond their expectations,” said Cynthia Fisher, founder of patientrightsadvocate.org.

Data collected by the group indicates Americans pay 2 times more in healthcare fees than any other developed country.

“The reality is that hospitals, insurance companies, big pharma, pharmacy benefit managers, all these middle players are capitalizing on a patient’s misfortune. The greed has run amok. It’s our money that pays for both healthcare and coverage so keeping the consumer in the dark just didn’t fit the bill,” said Fisher. “What brought me into founding patientsrightsadvocate.org was that too many people that I knew, who had good jobs, and jobs and healthcare, were devastated with overwhelming medical debt that put them into bankruptcy.”

According to the advocate groups’ semi-annual study of hospitals in the US, only 16% of hospitals in the country are following the law. In Missouri, that number drops.

Fisher said, “It’s one of the lower-ranked states for those coming into compliance. We looked into 39 hospitals and only 3 were in compliance.”

Mercy Hospitals was identified as not fully complying though they do have a cost estimator tool on their website. When asked about Patient Rights Advocate’s report we were given this statement that reads:

“Mercy works diligently to ensure compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) price transparency rule. Mercy Hospital Springfield has not been fined nor received any notification this year from CMS about being out of compliance.”

“We all know how to shop. We all know how to save our own money. That’s why healthcare price transparency is truly transformative because it shifts the power to the patients to be in control of their financial spending and their health decisions,” said Fisher.

In June Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fined two hospitals for non-compliance totaling more than a million dollars. The agency says they will continue to investigate hospitals to make sure consumers have pricing information.

According to the report Cox Barton County and Cox Monett hospitals were in compliance.

You can find a full copy of that report here.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com